Important Cases in Constitutional History

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Essential Questions: 

How did the Court define its power as a place of final review?

What have been the historical trends in the Court's decision making?

When and why has the Court reversed itself on major decisions?

How has the Court expended and solidified civil rights?


Cases include Marbury v. Madison (1803); McCulloch v. Maryland (1819);

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857); Plessy v. Ferguson (1896);

Korematsu v. United States (1944); Brown v. Board of Education (1954);

Gideon v. Wainwright (1963); Griswold v. Connecticut (1965); Miranda v. Arizona (1966)

Roe v. Wade (1973); Regents of the U. of California v. Bakke (1978); Bush v. Gore (2001)

Lawrence v. Texas (2005).




Student presentation on a historic case.

Evaluative essay.


Hall, Kermit, and Huebner, Timothy, eds. Major Problems in American Constitutional History. FLorence, KY: Wadsworth Publishing, 2009.

Linder, Doug. Exploring Consitutional Law. University of Missouri at Kansas.